An American Trying to Blend in (in New Zealand)

Walking the Makara Walkway track outside Wellington, New Zealand.

Though I am back in a country where I speak the same language as everyone else, there are still some things that just aren’t quite the same as back home. There are the obvious, such as the plastic and colorful currency, the use of Celsius over Fahrenheit, and the whole driving on the opposite side of the road thing.

Since New Zealand is a commonwealth country, I think for Daniel, transitioning back to an English-speaking country hasn’t been such a difficult adjustment. It’s probably part of the reason why he loves New Zealand so much: it reminds him of England. For me, however, I’ve needed to adjust a bit more than him.

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The Things I did in Korea that I’d Never do in the States.

South Korea Skyline: Old meets modern.

I wanted to live in a foreign country for a few reasons. Firstly, to get out of the US for a bit. Secondly, to add some stamps and visas to my passport. Lastly, to experience something new. Something so entirely different than to what I was used to back home.

Korea was a perfect place for doing exactly that. After being in a different place for so long, you begin to grow accustom to their cultural habits–and may even copy them yourself. In fact, I found myself doing things in Korea that I would probably never do back home in the States. [Read more...]

Driving an Old Car in New Zealand=Anxiety

Mazda Familia at a campsite in New Zealand.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a wonderful country. At the same time, however, I’ve been cursed with an old car to tour the said wonderful country. Okay, I shouldn’t say cursed. I chose this car (as did Daniel). But when you’re on a bit of a budget while traveling, you try and choose the cheapest options. Whether it’s accommodation, food, or attractions, you obviously want to keep the price as low as possible.

Although it’s not always the case, sometimes you really get what you pay for.

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What it’s Like for an American to Drive in New Zealand

American driving in New Zealand graphic.Imagine that you have flown over 13 hours to the other side of the world and are in this new, foreign land. You’re ready to explore and see everything New Zealand has to offer. You want to discover the geysers in the north and the fiords in the south.

But however will you get around?

On a tight schedule with an unlimited budget? Plane. Want to see the country in a unique setting? Train. Can sit for hours upon hours without needing a toilet nearby? Bus. Found yourself on a one-year visa with the freedom to go wherever and whenever you please? Car.

But there is one problem–they drive on the left in New Zealand.

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